K. O. Lee Aberdeen (S.Dak.) Public Library, from framing to final product. Photos: K. O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library (top three); Spencer Sommer/MSR (bottom)

How to Build a Library

September 3, 2019

These libraries, each completed within the past three years, are now centerpieces of their communities. They have inspired awe and appreciation, increased user engagement, received architecture and design awards—and won over some of their critics. So how did these endeavors come together? How does a beautiful building become a reality? We asked three administrators—who have … Continue reading How to Build a Library


US Capitol

August Is for Advocacy

July 24, 2019

As you may have heard in the news, the Trump administration appears to be moving forward with a budget deal, after weeks of negotiations between congressional leaders and White House officials. The agreement currently includes increased or level funding for most domestic and defense programs. In May, the House included significant increases in their funding, … Continue reading August Is for Advocacy


Fund Libraries: Tell Congress to Invest in Libraries graphic

Library Advocates Deliver

April 12, 2019

The annual campaign to gather support for the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program began with the congressional appropriations process in March, prime time for advocates to tell members of Congress about the important library programs supported by federal funding. With the Institute of Museum and Library … Continue reading Library Advocates Deliver


Fund Libraries: Tell Congress to Invest in Libraries graphic

ALA #FundLibraries Campaign Kicks Off for FY2020

March 11, 2019

In a statement issued shortly after the budget was released, American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo said, “As discouraging as it is that the administration has again proposed eliminating IMLS, the bipartisan support in Congress over the past two years gives us reason to hope.” The president’s proposal slashes IMLS yet again despite his … Continue reading ALA #FundLibraries Campaign Kicks Off for FY2020


Melinda Gates (Photo: Jason Bell)

Newsmaker: Melinda Gates

March 1, 2019

Gates spoke with American Libraries at the 2019 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits—where it was revealed that she would serve as this year’s honorary chair of National Library Week. The Moment of Lift is about lifting up women and girls. What do you mean by lift, and why is it so important? I … Continue reading Newsmaker: Melinda Gates


An attendee samples craft beer at a 2018 “Stouts and Stories, Ales and Tales” event hosted by Jefferson County (Colo.) Library Foundation.Photo: Steve Hostetler

Libations in the Library

March 1, 2019

The idea of alcohol at a library-sponsored event may strike some as unusual. But supporters say that serving alcohol increases event attendance, particularly among younger adults, and cultivates a public image of the library as a hip, up-to-date social setting. “People are used to relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine,” says Marcy … Continue reading Libations in the Library


Legislative Update

New Task Force for Federal Funding for Libraries

February 14, 2019

In fall 2018, ALA’s Washington Office engaged in a policy strategy retreat looking forward to the 116th Congress and the 2020 elections. Discussions addressed federal funding, improved broadband access, copyright, and other topics. The ALA Committee on Legislation (COL) then invited representatives from the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) to explore possibilities of … Continue reading New Task Force for Federal Funding for Libraries


Partial government shutdown

Librarian Shutdown Stories

January 23, 2019

Virginia Sanchez, librarian at Yosemite National Park in California, has spent four years working to modernize the park’s research library. Now she’s applying for unemployment. A Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan and still serves in the Navy Reserve, Sanchez says she has to start getting income soon to make a mortgage payment she says … Continue reading Librarian Shutdown Stories


2020 Census (Image: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries)

Census Resources for Libraries

January 15, 2019

Libraries across the country will offer information about the Census and provide technology access to residents completing it online for the first time. Some questions to consider: Will your library need additional computers for residents to complete their Census questionnaire online? Will you work with other community stakeholders to present meetings or programming to inform … Continue reading Census Resources for Libraries


2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

January 2, 2019

Michelle Obama at Annual At the Annual Conference of the American Library Association (ALA) in New Orleans, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden conversed before an overflow crowd of 8,000. Obama spoke about her family, her career, and writing her memoir—and about getting her first library card at age 4. … Continue reading 2018 Year in Review


Vote tally in House on S. 3530, Museum and Library Services Act, December 19

Museum and Library Services Act Passes

December 20, 2018

Thanks to the persistence of American Library Association (ALA) members and bipartisan support of congressional leaders who introduced the legislation, Congress is currently on record as saying that America’s libraries are a national priority. ALA thanks Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Jack Reed … Continue reading Museum and Library Services Act Passes


Congress

Museum and Library Services Act Introduced

October 1, 2018

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) led the Senate version of the bill (S. 3530) with 11 cosponsors: Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Angus King (I-Maine), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.). Rep. Raúl Grijalva … Continue reading Museum and Library Services Act Introduced